summary from last week's meeting

Last week we finished a little late and didn't really have time to go over
the conclusions of the meeting. I want to make sure that we agree as to
what happened in the meeting and what the results should be. So this is a
summary of my interpretation of what happened. Could everybody (whether
you attended the meeting or not) read this over and make sure you agree
with the proposed changes to the grammar? Also -- if you feel like there
are issues that need more discussion, please let me know.

(and Carlos, please correct me if i misrepresent your proposals)

I. Progressive, perfect, and conditional features
Carlos proposed eliminating the features: progressive, perfect, conditional
These features were used in constraining the adjunction of auxiliary verbs, and
therefore were located on the VP node and passed up to the S node (for inverted
auxiliaries). Carlos proposes that we only need <passive> and <mainv> features
to constrain aux adjoining. 

apparently it had already been decided to eliminate these
features. Subsequently, however, it was discovered that if these features are
eliminated, then sentences like "do you have eaten the apple" would parse. 

This is a potential reason to put <progressive> and <perfect> features back in
the grammar. However, Carlos proposes that <mainv> be used to rule sentences
like this out, rather than <progressive> and <perfect?. That is, the auxiliary
"do" would only adjoin on to a VP that is <mainv:+>.

Apart from this, no other uses were found for <progressive> and
<perfect>. Since the meeting, however, we found that "(*)John was having eaten"
will parse, suggesting that maybe we need the <perfect> feature after
all. ("be" could require that it only adjoin on to VPs that are <perfect:->,
thus ruling out the above sentence.) Carlos is looking into this.

> Does anyone else see any reason why we need <progressive> and <perfect>
features? This may need to be discussed further, given the problem discussed in
the previous paragraph. 

One thing that I wanted to clarify: My understanding is that the proposal is to
delete the features completely from the grammar, not just the links from VP to
S. Is that right, Carlos?

Also, it was suggested that <conditional> should not be deleted because we
might need the feature to implement conditional inversion. I think that this
topic also merits further discussion. 

Other Conclusions: <mainv> and <passive> are needed on VP and must be linked to
S in regular clauses. <mainv>, but not <passive> is needed in small clauses. 

II. confusion about use of <mainv>
related to I. If <mainv> is going to be used to constrain auxiliary adjoining,
then it needs to be used consistently. It sounded like it was sometimes used to
refer to a main verb (as opposed to an auxiliary) and other times it was used
to indicate that a verb form or clause could or could not appear as a matrix
verb/clause (as opposed to a subordinated clause). An example is that
subjunctives in the grammar are marked <mainv = ->. 

> Is there a reason we need mainv to mean non-matrix? if so, can we change this
feature to be <matrix> or something similar, rather than mainv?

along the same lines: right now all @PRES verbs are marked mainv = -. again,
this seems wrong. Can Carlos go ahead and change this?

III. null adjoining constraints on anchors?
The question was whether there are anchor nodes which require null adjoining

The consensus at the meeting seemed to be "no" -- we should not have null
adjoining constraints. Even idioms which don't allow some kinds of
modifications ("let's bury the little hatchet"), do allow others ("let's bury
the proverbial hatchet"); and the constraint seems to be semantic, not

There were a couple more issues on the handout, but I'm not sure if we covered
these fully or what the result was. Maybe we can finish this up next meeting if
there's time, or the time after that.